tv Road to the White House CSPAN October 14, 2013 1:00am-2:01am EDT
which ends up with the political wind. i'm afraid a little bit of that slipped in over the last 24 hours. that's what we all came here to do. happen,it is going to although i have been a little bit concerned he goes over the last 24 hours that has not been what these conversations have been about. and really focus on doing something that is a bipartisan and will stand the time -- test of time to go to the house in such a way that has a tremendous amount of support. and not something one side tries to peel off and we end up and that is not going to stand the test of time. that would not take us to a
place to solve this problem in time to get the kind of things that the senator from we cannot mention a might happen. >> senator from louisiana. >> let me respond. thank you. i will have to take the chair and relieve you. and thank you for your consideration. let me say how much again i respect the senator from tennessee. nobody on his side except perhaps the senator from alabama
and more time on budget issues. that is the senator from alabama's job. the senator from tennessee has taken it to be a leader. we are on the right page, the right chapter in the right book to talk about the fiscal issues. i do not agree that the strategy was the right strategy. we are here, no sense in pointing fingers. i do agree the senate needs to try to find our way forward because the senator from tennessee is correct. where we are, there are no winners and losers. it's about doing what is right. i want to do it for this state of louisiana and he was doing for the state of tennessee. we have lots of people that are counting on us to find a way forward. secondly, i agree with him that whenever what ever we, with has to be broadly supported on both sides or at least core support on both sides because it is going to have to be something with the brand to the house and say this the best we can do and we cannot go over this cliff. thirdly, i want to make a point. on the budget troll at that is law. -- budget control act that is law. the affordable care act has been passed but is not settled law. it passed. the budget control act as well. this, the point i would like to make. the house is willing to take the sequester which is the lower number, the lowest number.
very high number and therefore cutting the heck out of everybody else. no agriculture money, education, no nothing. they wanted to keep defense. that is what the house is trying to do. i realize that is not with my colleagues here want to do. that is our problem. not just taking the lower number but how that number is going to be allocated across appropriations. that is how the defense appropriations bill was put together. it absorbed all of the money and leave all the budgets starving. i know that this is important. i am a democrat that supports strong defense. but to take a lower number and say we will take the lower number but given all to defense and then you cannot find anything in health and education and social services that are so important. that is not right either. one more point. one more point is this. the senator from tennessee has been very brave because there are not that many brave people around. he has said, we may need to raise revenues here and there and we cannot solve all the problems by cutting. in the last deal we did, we were able to figure out how to raise the revenue and also make cuts so with that have a good way of bouncing our budget and not pull the rug out from this promising economy.
5% unemployment in louisiana. i am not in a state that does not have jobs. we have so many that we need people to fill them. it breaks my heart we about to pull the rug. we are close. i know how much my people are counting on is getting get done. i want to thank you senator. i hope he stands up for the other voices that say we can solve this problem by cutting, cutting. and just cut mandatory programs and cut entitlements and that is all we have to worry about. he knows that is not correct. i yield the floor.
>> i want to take 30 seconds and say for the record, i do not want anybody that i think the strategy undertaken was the right strategy. if i was misunderstood, i've been really clear eyed and not think -- i've been really clear that i think it is not taken us to the place. let's stay there. >> the house returns at noon eastern. first votes after 6:30 p.m. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c- span2, or online at c-span.org.
>> we want to know how the government shutdown is affecting you. >> make your short video message about the shutdown and upload it from your mobile device very clear what others are touting about. >> now, a discussion on the government shutdown with two former members of congress. this is about 45 minutes. host: we are going to get the perspective of two former congressman who went through previous shutdowns. tom davis, a republican from virginia serving from 1995 to 2008. both congressmen served as heads of their respective campaign committees. thank you for being with us this morning. the latest news from capitol hill has been the discussions on the debt ceiling have moved over to the senate.
how do you think your colleagues or representatives of their are feeling now that they seemingly are out of the action in determining the fate of this thing he e -- this thing? guest: they cannot play work product on the floor. you have to be able to produce a work product when you are in the majority. and now you have members of the republican conference that will not do a debt ceiling without the government because they realize if you do a debt ceiling resolution the government will stay closed for any length of time. we have another group that basically wants to repeal obamacare.
they have driven themselves into an environment right now of what public opinion is not supporting it. if you are in a district that is overwhelmingly republican you are probably on the right side. all of these marginal seats, members under a numbers pressure. guest: in terms of getting a product, as congressman davis said, this was months, if not more, on the house side. guest: there is a difference between now and 1995 when we went through this last time. even though gingrich was the moving force behind government, once they decided -- once he decided to make a deal with clinton it was done. they might have done some grumbling but he could deliver. john boehner cannot live for anything at this point. there is an article today about the effect that this has had on the senator races that is coming up. now it looks like those chances are much weaker.
it is not inconceivable that the democrats could take the house back. it would be a reach the way the districts are drawn. the republicans could make nancy pelosi speaker again. guest: i was in a district -- i got reelected 221. let me tell you what has changed. the speaker does not have the power in the caucus right now. it is a very divisive caucus. republicans are representing different constituencies. three other things have changed. if you look at the republican conference today, 80% of the republican conference have over 55% of the vote.
you had 77 members of the conference. approximately the same as everywhere else. the republican pressures are -- the pressures are on republican members. you didn't have fox news, you didn't have ms nbc. rush limbaugh was just starting talk radio. the information flowing out is very high in terms of what people are hearing with basic facts. it makes it difficult for leaders to leave. -- leaders to lead. the money in this town has moved away from the parties because the campaign finance reform -- the money is no longer with the parties.
we did not have any of those factors when we last went to the shutdown. this has made it difficult for leaders to lead. host: could either of you see yourself heading up a campaign committee in the house he e -- in the house? guest: both of us were opposed to the finance law that put money into these third- party groups, these groups in the extreme. i could run the committee today, i could have some fun with it. it would be more interesting that being a member right now. being a member would be terrible at this point. host: there used to be pride in congress. right now they are distributed. i go through grocery stores in my district.
appropriation bills. the senate wanted to sit down and negotiate with the overall number would be. there is plenty of blame to go around. you have to recognize that in our democracy we have to work together. guest: i know the public does not fully understand the inner workings of the conch for us -- of the congress. if the speaker wants a bill on the floor it is on the floor. if he does not want the bill on the floor or in the house it is not there. john boehner could put a pillow on the floor tomorrow to open up the government and it would pass because all the democrats would vote for it. probably enough republicans would vote for it. i am guessing he is afraid that he will be deposed midterm if he does that in his own caucus. guest: also some bills like the transportation bill for 2014, they knew they could not pass it. guest: this would pass with a dash with 20-25 republican votes. guest: a point of personal privilege, it is not hard. host: let's open up our phone lines for your comments and questions for congressman tom davis and martin frost. the phone lines -- we will go to our independence line first, we hear from littleton, colorado. the morning from tony. -- good morning to tony. caller: it looks so much different to me this time around. the economy is so much worse and people are in so much worse shape than they were 17 years ago. i think that has been lost on our current congress.
back then we came out of it stronger. i think we are coming out of it weaker. are we possibly moving to -- even a breakdown of our democracy -- and i don't mean to sound hyperbolic but people are really angry. both parties. is it different and are we in a more dangerous place than we were before you go -- before? guest: that is a very insightful question. we have come to behave, as voters, that this is a polymer tree system. very few democrats in republican districts and very few republicans in democratic istricts.and you and you and in his you as you as you are useless to you and your is you is ai know third source is do you
94% of republicans are inand in nicor -- very few democrats in republican districts and very few republicans in democratic districts. 94% of republicans are in districts that romney carried. you find very few outlier member districts where someone is in a district they should not be. that was not true 18 years ago. and there will -- there was a lot of ticket splitting. there is less today than anytime time in the last two generations. that is ok except when the members come here they behave like parliamentary's. in a parliamentary system, you are the opposition party. they come here to say, put your points on the board. they get no helps from the democrats on these issues. republicans did it to the democrats under health care and some of these other bills, saying we are the opposition party. the problem with that is our government structure is not a parliamentary system. it is thus setting very well. it is coming apart. >> one of the differences between now and 1995 is that the business community has very little stroke inside the republican party. business leaders have said this
is crazy, we need to extend the debt ceiling, we need to reopen the government, and they happened ignoring by the republican party. the business committee -- business community spoke with a loud voice. guest: when the government last shutdown the economy was booming ash -- was booming -- let's hear from martin in arkansas on our democrat line. caller: my question is -- we the people want the government back open. i do not understand why both parties are pointing fingers at each other. it is a shame when i listen to this on tv, people have their food stamps cut. why are we spending -- sending money overseas? i am ashamed to be on tv in our country, and a woman dies for this country. she did not get her benefits. she probably voted on it. guest: you made a statement that cannot be answered. none of this makes any sense. i would hope that this coming week they managed to extend the debt ceiling. they managed to get the government open for some period of time. this is a horrible situation.
i would hope that whatever happens in the coming week and we come up against the october 17 deadline that they managed to extend the debt ceiling come and managed to get the government open for some time, and then maybe there's an opportunity for the two parties to sit down. this is a horrible situation. it is not in the best interests of the country. it is crazy the government is closed right now. one of the problems as you have so many people inside the republican party trying to put conditions on reopening the government. it is a simple matter. let's see how it happens in the coming week. host: --guest: the democrats should down the government with a republican resident many times. guest: sure. guest: the problem is, if you believe the government is spending much too much, you only have to leverage points. your annual budget and opportunities to raise the debt ceiling. what is important is you take the issues, try to get some concessions are you do not have
to raise the debt ceiling the next time. this is your only opportunity to exercise controls on spending. but the system counts on the people coming together. it has gotten to the point now where it is out of hand. guest: you get to the point where you get the best deal you can. both sides do not get what they want, but they get something. i guess this is going to happen october 17. sure scares tuple. guest: it's not just brinkmanship, but america's reputation overseas. host: caller, you are on the air. caller: hello, everyone. i think we see -- host: all right, let's move on to nicole in jackson city. caller: i was calling to talk but the government shutdown. i have a niece. she is in college. her child was in head start. the thing with parents -- they have to overcome and yesterday in the grocery store, there was a woman in there behind her. they had 9 children. they got the groceries. they could not pay for them because the system was down. the government is how you are fixing them. i hate them for everybody and i just hope they can come together.
it is terrible. host: thank you. guest: the nbc-washington journal poll shows right track, wrong track, people are losing their confidence in government. that is never a good thing for either party. these are internal factors caused by elected officials. guest: there was the poll in terms of the confidence in congress down five percent. tom used to joke when it was at 11%, that was family and friends. i'm not sure who thinks congress is doing a job right now. guest: it could be the members. guest: you hear now over the next four or five days, tough old veterans harry reid and mitch mcdonnell, they are going to make a deal. i'm not sure what the deal is going to be. this is not the way the government should be run. it should not be closed-door meetings with a couple old guys who have been through the wars. ultimately the republicans have a real problem here because they will not put anything on the floor of the house.
i understand the difficulty, but at some point you've got to say, ok, it's not worth being speaker -- guest: i think what you are referring to is the fact that whatever comes up is going to have majority support within the republican conference. host: a comment from twitter. stella says "the fact is they knew this was coming and took their july, august vacations and the labor day long weekend and they were all derelict in duty." back to the issue of getting the spending bills done. they knew this was coming. guest: that is the mentality. people do not like to come off their positions. these people are from safe seats. november elections mean nothing to 80% of these members. it is the rye marry elections that elect them.
they are back in their comfort zone. guest: but, tom, it is interesting. i thought about this, specifically what was asked in the summer. if i had been in the democratic leadership and we controlled the house -- which i wasn't and we didn't control the house -- i think i would have said to my members, we shouldn't take august off this year. if boehner had done that and held the house and in august, i think that might have been a popular decision in the country. host: didn't democrats try something similar a year ago? these pro forma sessions -- guest: we have mock sessions on the floor. the reality is, they do not respond unless it is a crisis situation. it has to be an economic crisis, whatever it is, to happen. you have parliamentary habits in a balance of power system and it does not work very well without some sort of crisis between them. the members have some really smart, good people in congress. they are not in control of the system though. that makes it difficult to operate. i look at the voters. you elect these people. how many of you are active in primaries? the primaries are controlled by very ideological bands of every party.
by the general election, your choices are made. guest: i remember in the 1960's -- you are better at history than i am -- a man locked the doors of the california legislature in said people are not leaving until we get this resolved. i would like a democrat or republican leader to do this in washington. @cspanwj --host: joseph on the democrats'line. caller: i'm 82 years old. ira member the depression. -- i remember the depression. i have two questions for these x politicians. if the government closes down, are we old people not going to get our social security checks or our savings in our bank or our ira checking? and for all those republican abel, tea party people, the government is to big -- too big, keep them out of our business. but keep our social security. guest: there's a lot of frustration to read those checks
are not going to go out. the republicans have passed bills keeping more obvious and popular parts of government open . democrats have rejected that saying they don't want to take it piecemeal. the bottom line is, the only way you will make this work in washington is if you make it win-win. these conversations have been devoid of that today. guest: the debt ceiling vote is not keeping the government open. if they do not extend the debt ceiling, people are not going to get their social security check. god only knows what will happen to ira's and 401k's. guest: we will spiral down. we will go into a recession and worst.
extending the debt ceiling. if you don't get your social security check, it will be because the debt ceiling is not extended. host: former congressman martin frost and former congressman jim davis. do you encounter the shutdown in your day-to-day work now? guest: i do. i work with a larger partnership and not everyone is working if you are not working and the contractors are not working. people talk about paying the employees and they will
eventually get paid, although a lot of federal employees will miss paychecks. people living paycheck to paycheck, that means hardships and credit problems. contractors did not get paid for these things. that means they have to carry a real them a real burden. it's going to have a very bad effect on the economy. guest: and i'm with a national
law firm. clients of the firm cannot get paperwork process whether it is dealing with fha, some other federal agency. the other thing that tom mentioned -- let's say you run a restaurant, café. the federal work force are ultimately made whole. they get their money. for weeks and weeks you have a much smaller number of people shopping at your restaurant or café.
government, they are furloughing people right now. i do not believe that they have said we will give you the back pay. this is not just federal workers. this affects an enormous amount of other people and that's why this thing is so crazy. guest: on employment applications, 66,000 additional this last week. host: california on our gop line. caller: yes -- [laughter] i just have to say one quick thing at the end of the day when it is all said and done, it is only up to the president to make it work. that is pretty much it. guest: everybody is culpable on this. the president cannot sign anything that is not on his desk.
i will say one thing, i think the president in getting his remarks and showing flexibility was very important in getting this close. host: in one of the pieces on the differences between the 1995 -1996 shutdown and now, one of the three differences was clinton and gingrich were open to compromise. you indicated that neither president obama nor speaker boehner were open. guest: this is a crisis situation. they will get pressured to move off.
the president does not want to negotiate on the debt ceiling or the cr -- guest: they have to. these are the only pressure points you have. they do not want to push where one party drives the country off the cliff. the president has been dealt a hand with a republican house. you have to deal with that. the american people are going to hold everybody responsible. host: arlene, good morning.
democrats line. caller: think you for having me. first of all, i think we need to take money out of politics. one of the things holding most people are jobs and the shutdown going on is the money involved in politics. if we get that out and put power back into the peoples hands, we will have a better outcome. thank you. host: martin frost, would you think of that? host: the problem with that -- guest: the problem with that is the supreme court has taken the
position that money is a free- speech issue any ability to spend money is free speech protected by the constitution. unless he were to amend the u.s. constitution to say that congress has the authority to put limits on what can be spent in races, the supreme court's not going to let that stand. host: you both opposed mccain- feingold? guest: we both opposed it. i agree. if we get money out of politics, it's a different ballgame. i love the british system. but we have the first amendment. what they have done is expanded
the political party is a very centering force in this country for 200 years because they compete for the middle of the road to win elections. mccain-feingold limited money to political parties. that money did not does appear. it's now out on the wings, the right and left wing. john boehner, nancy pelosi, obama, they do not have any control over this. these are actors with their own agendas.
guest: in 1995-1996 when i was chairman of the congressional campaign committee, before mccain-feingold, we could raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and unions, but we had to report every dollar we raised. now the parties can't, and you can get large donations from individuals. now you do not have those, but they are giving them to these other entities. and it is not reportable. so no one is held accountable. that was the problem with mccain-feingold. it puts all of this underground. guest: it didn't mean to. but we knew this was going to happen. guest: some of us had an inkling this was going to happen. i had arguments with members of my own party. they said oh, well, don't worry about that, congressman, because we will say 60 days before an election they cannot do this. i said, what happens if the courts rule that unconstitutional. they said, our lawyers have told us it is ok. well, their lawyers were wrong. >> 60 days before an election is when it should matter the most. guest: but they were pretending that somehow putting the 60-day limit -- guest: pie in the sky liberal. at [laughter] host: caller on the line from new jersey. caller: remember how we got here. the debt ceiling was raised. what happened? all the republicans wanted was regular order. the democrats passed the budget. the republicans passed the budget. the republicans in the senate and the house refused to go to conference. why did they do that? a they wanted this crisis. without the crisis they had no negotiating position. they couldn't get what they wanted unless there was a crisis. now if they had negotiated, they would actually have to give something. they do not want to give anything. why are we here? the bottom line comes down to this. they do not want to give a penny in revenue. they want all their changes. they want to medicare changes. the what the medicaid changes. they want the social security changes. they do not want a penny in revenue. that is what the impact is. that is why a big bill will not be created. why should the democrats give them everything they want just to open the government, just to raise the debt ceiling?
does not make sense, guys. guest: i appreciate your comments. let me give you a couple points. they did not go to conference in the house and the senate -- you get a lot of embarrassing votes. the republican leadership did not feel it was help on that. but the house did do something the senate didn't do, and that was they passed a number of appropriations bills. the senate passed zero appropriations bills. that funds six percent, five percent of government. you have dod and others. republicans feel they gave in revenue last year when the bush tax cuts expired and tax rates went up for many americans. so, obamacare is an additional tax on people. they felt they had given enough. what you had was a spending
problem, not a revenue problem. not recognizing the compromises, april have to move off their positions and that is out you get there. we are at the point where republicans are not giving it off and vice versa. i think it is beyond who wins and who loses. guest: what may come out of this -- we don't know yet -- but what may come out of this week is an agreement to go to conference on the underlying budget resolution. an agreement where the democrats and republicans would appoint conferees for the budget year that just started, october 1. but to do that, they would probably have to be silent on the subject of revenue. in other words the democrats want everything that is done to be revenue positive and raise more taxes. the republicans want to be revenue neutral. they probably would have to totally not speak to that at all, appoint the conferees, and hopefully come back with a package that would reduce spending and provide some additional revenue to pay down the debt ceiling. host: i want to ask about the impact on the workspace in capitol hill during these crises.
here is a headline from this morning. protracted debate grace on lawmakers'disposition. is it hard to work with your colleagues in these difficult times? host: you have republicans -- guest: you have republicans angry with republicans on this conference. you do not want the tension to be fueled by some of the pac's over there on the right. but sure, members are not seen their families. they are sitting here for link the times when they are scheduled to do other things. the first shutdown, my family had scheduled a vacation in new york over businessweek. we put our money down. the government was shut down. we had to stay. guest: 1996 did have a positive affect. then the shutdown in 1995, you had the agreement on raising the -- the minimum wage. it did cause the parties to sit down and try to work some things out together. but i'm not sure that will happen this time. there was more of a spirit of cooperation after a lot of showmanship in 1995. guest: but you did not have your pac's and your media models that thrive on polarization. host: david in new york. caller: thanks for taking my call. unfortunately this country on a federal and state-level soffit to take the taxpayers dollars -- saw fit to take the taxpayers dollars and try to create jobs or even an economy for this country in states and to hand out those tax dollars in subsidies. i will give you an example. i live near hunter mountain. hunter mountain was given a grant through the state and the
federal government, given to them by the federal government, to the department of agriculture. they used that grant to put up a gondola to get to the top of the mountain. chairlift. i thought the department of agriculture gave farmers money. so, that means some former missed out on money he should have got that hunter mountain got. that is very corrupt. i will give you another example. there are farmers here that i know that have forms that do not even farm the land. they live on the land, but they farm nothing. there are neighbors that go to them and say, listen, i see you have hayfield. you don't do a thing with them. why don't you let me use my tractor? i will buy the gas. let me making money off the hay. another example, a former around here has a big farm. he has forces. and neighbor comes up, rents out space in his barn, so she gets her own clientele to bring the courses to his barn, and she takes care of the horses. it is so corrupt, the whole system, that i really don't know what is going to go on. and i say to you, gentlemen, or rather i ask you to discuss this on your show today, because you just said nothing earlier that our government does not even care about our business sector.
host: all right, david, we will get reaction. guest: i will start. i think what the fellow was asking, i'm not certain -- i think it was probably going to a question about the way it earmarks, appropriations are made. when i was in congress, i was always proud when i got an earmark or my district and put out a press release because i thought i did something for people i represented. some of the objections have been that congressmen have tried to earmark funds for their bodies that have nothing to do with their own district and they have done that in secret. i think it all ought to be out on the table. if the congressman was a project for his district, he gets funding for it, he should put out a statement defending it, explaining why he did it. i was we -- i was able to get funding for mass transit system in dallas. i was very proud of that.
some bureaucrat, some state leader -- there's nothing wrong since the money comes from the house of representatives and they allocate pieces that should be transparent, should be for private company. i think earmarks are an important piece. let me just address the gentleman from question. the government should live within their means. when martin and i were there, we reached budget agreements. we have four years of balanced budgets. that is for congress ought to be heading. we have been heading in the opposite direction for the last four years. we have borrowed 40 cents on
every dollar we have spent. this will be paid for by our kids. that is what this whole fight is about, at least from the republican narrative. we have to use what leverage we have to have a discussion. there is nothing wrong with that. the difficulty is going over the hill, over the cliff on both of these, you make things worse. >> what happened in the 1990's, when tom and i were there, 1993, 1994, congress passed a budget resolution, passed legislation that did both. a cut spending and raise taxes. then you had balanced budgets through a lot of the 1990's. congress is willing to take a balanced approach. now you can't even sit down and talk about that. you can even start a dialogue about that.
that is a big if friends. we took some very tough votes in the 90s. to set up a framework to do budget cuts and -- host: the bush tax cuts expired. that was a tax increase. the president said you could go for a different level. you get one bite at the apple. republicans got burned. i don't think they will go over that again. host: good morning. caller: good morning, sir. sorry about my cold. are we a democratic republic? the other question is, are we collecting enough revenue now to pay our bills without the shutdown? thank you. guest: i will start. we are not collecting enough revenue. we could make some budget cuts and raise a little bit more revenue. we are a democracy. we are a balance of powers, a divided government.
we are not a parliamentary system. we are a very unique form of democracy. we are the oldest continuous democracy on the face of the earth right now but it's not running very well. guest: i agree with martin. host: tom davis, martin frost talking about this morning the 1996 shutdown and what is ahead. one last question for both of you. what would be quick advice from both of you? how do we keep this from happening next year and years to come? guest: we should do something about the debt ceiling. these votes have become very painful. our leverage point, you can tie it to some percentage of gdp or something like that. we are one of three countries in the world that have a debt ceiling.
under a balance of power system, this becomes tough. it has been inappropriate leverage point, but in the past people have come to agreements. at this point, it threatens the whole economy. is threatens -- it threatens the markets and the american dollar. guest: you have both parties and the executive ranch say, ok, let's take another look at simpson-bowles, the commission that made recommendations. at least those recommendations were starting point. host: thanks for being with us. up next on "washington journal," -- >> on the next washington journal, steve bell reviews the options of the treasury department for meeting its united states the default on the debt limit. kaiser health news correspondent julie appleby look seven number of people signed up on the health care exchanges since
they opened october 1 and the difference between the state and federal run exchanges. and president and ceo joseph talks about the impact of the shutdown and sequestration. 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. .> next, a senate hearing after that, q&a with former white house chief of staff josh bolten. >> we are at the lou henry hoover house. it is significant because this was the primary residence of the hoovers and it is significant as it relates to lou hoover because she was the one who did design it. theknew how she wanted house to look even though she had not been an architect.
>> also from her travels, in north africa, when she traveled with herbert hoover. it is a great legacy. she designed the house and created it. >> monday night live at 9:00 eastern. >> the hearing examined efforts by somalia, the u.s., and the international community to eliminate terrorist threats to somalia's security, like the al qaeda affiliated al-shabaab.
this is about two hours. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> i am pleased to call to order this hearing. security and governance issues in somalia. let me say in this government shutdown, i think it remains critical, first, that we fulfill our constitutional duty in a bipartisan manner to examine ongoing and pressing national security issues. islso think the shutdown having a significant and potentially greater impact on our ability to execute effective and analyze intelligence in a timely and thoughtful way. i think it is relevant to our current state to have this
hearing today. i am grateful for the to moveion allowing us forward today, particularly given the strong panel of witnesses we have. , it may leadgether to a more stable future. providelpful for us to a strong example of democracy we can be proud of at home. i would like to welcome members of the committee who may join us. -- ur first panel nancy is not be assistant secretary for bureaucracy, but for democracy. forgive me. on our second panel, we will have the senior research fellow
for the institute of national strategic studies. and founder and executive director of the heresy institute for policy studies. thank you for joining us today. deputy director for africa and the crisis group. for all of our witnesses. i know in several of your cases, it was difficult to make it. i'm grateful. today's hearing comes almost exactly two decades after americans were killed providing vital assistance to somalia. following the u.s. withdrawal that occurred after that and after 20 years, the state collapsed lawlessness and general difficulties. recent developments had given us reason to be hopeful. this is due in no small part to gains in smalley. african national
troops in coordination with the ethiopian military. deprived ofas been territory and revenue, creating a much-needed space. this stability has allowed al- shabaab to form, officially recognized by the united states. while much progress has been made, significant challenges have been made. people are frustrated with the inability to provide health care. the humanitarian situation remains dire. recently, more than 160 confirmed cases of polio served as a reminder. recognizing these matters cannot be fully addressed without a functioning state. people are impatient with the lack of leadership. , 36 months to complete a constitution.
increased security has provided a foundation for stability and governance. as the horrific attack two weeks the targetinged, of innocent civilians requires our attention and resources as we consider what it means for thelia, our allies in region, it is for the extra attention today. this is why i will soon introduce a resolution condemning the attack and reaffirming u.s. support for regional efforts to counterterrorism. this hearing is an opportunity for security and governance. since 2006, our country has provided $700 million of support to the somali national army, in addition to the 100 despitesupport -- investments, i'm concerned we have not fully kept paste -- pace.
i intend to introduce legislation requiring the administration to present a a timeline fory implementation, which i hope we can discuss in more detail today. i am pleased to welcome the assistant secretary for her first hearing. i again express gratitude for traveling to be with us today and to all of our witnesses for the skilled expertise and background you bring to this hearing. senator? >> i appreciate you holding the hearing and for you making the sacrifice to be here. some challenges with the shutdown. geographical challenges, as well. thank you for being here. the events of the past week indicate u.s. interests continue to be threatened in somalia. more than 20 years to the day blackthe battle, known as
hawk down, u.s. special forges -- forces risked their lives. 20 years later, it seems the same problems that plagued somalia earlier, since the collapse of the central 1991, and perhaps even before, continue to plague it today. this hearing will provide us with an excellent opportunity to evaluate current u.s. policy to work with smaller government, which the u.s. government recognized for the first time earlier this year. it is significant and we need to make sure that leads to something positive. it is an courage in this occurred, but we need to make sure it is moving in the right direction. the security situation needs to be assessed, especially in the wake of the terror attack in the past couple of weeks. at the assistance the u.s. revives to somalia for
development, security needs to be examined to ensure the tax dollars spent go to support u.s. objectives. this hearing today i feel is important and a first step to help ensuring in another 20 years, we will not i look forward to hearing from the witness today and thank you to the chairman for pushing forward on this and i think it is a good show we are still having hearings and moving forward even with the shutdown. thank you for being here. >> thank you thomas senator flake. we encourage you to keep opening remarks to five minutes for stop the first, madam secretary. >> good afternoon. , it is myoons pleasure to appear before you to talk about somalia. reminded me this my first hearing since taking over my position. it really is important for